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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Providence Supplies: emergency preparedness, self-reliance, and sustainability.

On a very popular Canadian gun forum, CGN, I saw a thread about an upstart company founded here for the purposes of selling preparedness goods. As I read more about the company, I went to their website to browse what they had to offer. What I found was quality, affordable equipment that makes sense to have.

From 72-hour kits to military surplus, Providence Supplies has a wide selection of products to help prepare for what might - or might never be.

Below is a direct copy of an online interview I conducted with the owner of Providence Supplies. In an effort to shed a little more light on the company and the people who run it - so we as consumers know who we're buying from. I like to keep my purchases in-country as much as I possibly can, and knowing that the people behind the scenes in those companies I choose to support are good, decent people makes the decision that much easier.

I'll be placing a link to Providence Supplies under what I'll be referring to from now on as the 'Sheepdog Coalition.' These are places I have personally bought from without incident and would recommend to others. I hope to have the Sheepdog Coalition space on this site rolled out in a few days. As I've said before - I'm not a guy about numbers. I won't place things on scales of one to ten, nor will I grade anything I review with a certain number. My reviews are entirely subjective - the type of review I would get from a buddy. I'm going to keep it that way.

Links provided on this site are not paid for by the owners of those companies. They're provided to you, from me - because I believe they're that good. I don't know if advertising space will be available in the future - but the Sheepdog Coalition will always remain a not-for-profit personal suggestion on my part.

Have a read of the interview below and when you're done, head over to their website: Providence Supplies.

Interview with Chris from Providence Supplies

1) Give me an introduction to Providence Supplies (PS) - how did you get started, how big is the company, where is it going, a little about yourself?

Providence Supplies is currently a web-based family business; we are hoping to have a physical store this summer. Being in the “prepared” mindset, we had purchased a number of products from In Case Of in Alberta and discussed the need for an Ontario based supplier. After a few months of discussion and consultation we decided the fit between ICO and ourselves was right and became an authorized ICO dealer.

We are always looking at new products and consider suggestions from customers as well. We have recently added a seed line (West Coast Seeds) to our inventory. In addition, we want expand our offering of high quality, new or near new military surplus equipment. In addition, we have a large selection of practical books. This all fits in with our company slogan “emergency preparedness, self-reliance, and sustainability.”

2) Why survival / preparedness gear?

I like to think of preparedness products or gear as basic essentials, tools and equipment for life - like past generations have used but society has trended away from in recent years as we become a more dependent society. In conversation, I often refer to what I call the pioneer spirit. Pioneers of days gone by had the ability, for the most part to survive and often thrive with nothing more that the basics and their knowledge and know-how. That, I feel is often missing in today’s world; how to plant, grow and store food, build a home or shelter, make and mend clothes, basically being self-sufficient within a family or small community setting.

3) If you had a person starting from scratch in terms of any type of preparedness planning sitting in front of you, what advice might you give them in starting out?

Think Pioneer. Mental preparation is paramount, and knowledge. A person can have all the resources in the world but without the right attitude and knowledge, equipment and resources are near useless. It is therefore important to start making self-sufficiency way of life today – not a default reaction when the need arises. Not living in condition white, being aware of your surroundings is the place to start.

4) On a budget of 100 dollars, what would you tell this person to buy?

Water, food and shelter are the basics. The specifics are often tailored to the circumstance. I would make a general recommendation for people to have access to bottled water (or a filter), emergency food, and durable clothing/footwear in a backpack or car. Portability is important -so keep it light!
5) For a first time hunter going into the bush, a different type of preparedness mindset is required. What advice might you lend the first time bushman?

I was once in an elevator with another person that got stuck between floors. In under a minute after realizing that something was wrong the other person was in full on panic mode. I asked him when the last time he heard of someone in Canada dying from being trapped in an elevator was. We were in the exact situation but had completely different reactions. Going into the bush is no different, first, you should think about the “what ifs” before going in. If something happens, stay calm and think. What do I need to do to ensure my safety? When people go into the bush to hunt they do not go in afraid. They go in usually wearing the right clothes, in the right frame of mind and carrying something that enables hunting, a rifle, bow, etc. which translates into a means of self-defence. If a person becomes lost the only thing that changes is that he doesn’t know exactly where he is but they are still prepared for most other situations they would encounter. So keep your cool.

6) is a blog dedicated to the Canadian preparedness mindset - do you sell any products specifically geared towards Canadians or that might be more useful to a person in more northern climate?

We sell things that are useful, things I personally find useful. For example, the Dutch army 100% wool blanket is very useful in a Canadian winter. Also our seeds are tailored to grow in a Canadian climate and are meant to create a sustainable food source. Our THRIVE freeze dried food line is perfect for those of us living off grid or who just want to rely less on hydro powered refrigerators. As we grow I want to tailor our products by eliminating some and adding others. I am completely open to suggestions for additional products.

7) Any parting words?

Surround yourself with people you trust. Spend your time and money on things that will have a lasting effect of your quest toward self-reliancy. Don’t be afraid of hard work and getting your hands dirty. Continue to learn, read, discuss things with people that know and use what you bought and have.

1 comment:

  1. I have not yet ordered from this company but the owner has always been responsive towards every email I have sent him, that's a great sign of a good business.